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Chase Elliott’s Nudge on William Byron Gave Rick Hendrick Sour Martinsville Flashbacks


Chase Elliott’s Nudge on William Byron Gave Rick Hendrick Sour Martinsville Flashbacks

Hendrick Motorsports did what Hendrick Motorsports are known for in NASCAR. On their 40th anniversary race at Martinsville, the trio of William Byron, Chase Elliott, and Kyle Larson finished 1-2-3, making the special day even more special for the sport’s most legendary organization. But there was a point in the race when things could’ve gone south for HMS. And that point had even Rick Hendrick concerned.

This was toward the end of the race, particularly when Elliott nudged Byron. Of course, Byron and Elliott didn’t wreck as the #24 driver took the checkered flag.

But this little moment had Mr. H imagining all sorts of bad scenarios for his team. In fact, it even made Hendrick remember a race from the past when they almost had the race in the bag, but one mistake cost them the whole thing.

“I was yelling a little bit (at the TV) saying, ‘No, no, no,'” Hendrick said about the moment between Elliott and Byron. “All I could see was them wrecking and maybe taking Larson. Then I’d be trying to settle everybody back down today. I’m glad they played nice and they raced each other clean.”

“I’ve lost that race with Jimmie (Johnson) and Jeff leading it and didn’t pit. Everybody pitted behind them and (Clint) Bowyer won the race under a green and white checker. It always notches your tummy up when you’re with two or three laps to go and then something happens.”

Chase Elliott is growing in confidence after almost winning in Martinsville

Among many positives for HMS in Martinsville, perhaps one of the biggest was their star driver Chase Elliott registering a solid result in P2 in a race he almost won. But even more important than that is what that result meant for Elliott psychologically.

Because after Martinsville, Elliott’s confidence seems to be on a high. “It was a solid day for us for sure,” Elliott said as per NASCAR.

“Nice to lead some laps. Certainly fell off a little more than I wanted to there at the end of those runs. Just struggled with traffic a little more than I should have. I thought our car was close. Pit stops were really good. Most of the restarts went well.”

With that said it’ll be interesting to see if Chase Elliott builds on this confidence and momentum to end his win drought. The next chance for him to do so would be at Texas Motor Speedway this Sunday.

About the author




Shaharyar is a NASCAR journalist at the SportsRush. Along with two years of experience covering the sport, he is also a filmmaker and a big fan of soccer. His favorite NASCAR drivers in the modern era of the sport are Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch but when it comes to the GOAT debate, he believes no one is or will ever be as great as Dale Earnhardt.

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